White Sister: Fashion By Passion


Kerrang! Magazine Date Unknown

Written By Derek Oliver

“Something melodic this way comes…and then…and then…as you bend down to tie a rogue shoelace that probably came adrift whilst groovin’ to the latest Zebra LP, White Sister blast you with a grandiose exercise in toe-curling melodic mayhem. Guitars (mainly) and synthesisers converge beautifully, the lyrics are melodramatic and the songs themselves relentless, remorseless, unstoppable and hummable…which leads me to draw only one conclusion; that “Fashion By Passion,” is White Sister’s proudest hour- and a bit!

Within this fine frame I can detect only one problem; the results are so slick they might actually scare people off! And for “slick” read cleverness and inventiveness combined with razor sharp hard rock riffs…Pomp Rock, in fact, to the max.

Over six months late, mainly due to hefty feuds over incidental matters like rejected artwork and studio mix-downs, this follow-up to White Sister’s hotly tipped and critically licked debut LP (1984) sees the band remain intact (virtually: Garri Brandon has been replaced by new keyboard man David Vincent who, due to some strange quirk of nature, doesn’t actually play on this record!). Little has changed overall, however, save for a slicker image, a slightly modernised sound…and a better record.

Here, WS’ ripe images and sweeping,urgent sentimentality are indulged to the full, illuminated by the amazingly grand songs and the sheer pomp and circumstance of the (self) production- absolutely no-one has been allowed to interfere. NO-ONE!

There’s the preliminary lusty yearnings of “A Place In The Heart,” the exuberant optimism of “Dancin’ on Midnight,” which manages to capture the same untroubled bliss as Y&T’s “Summertime Girls,” and “Save Me Tonight,” which slides easily into the niche vacated recently by Michael Bolton; a ballad as overblown as Bolton’s classic “Call My Name,” opus ‘cept, and I really had to pinch my botty here, it’s actually better!

A surprisingly excellent version of The Beatles “Ticket To Ride,” hits the spot, while the second side, as surprisingly as the first, keeps it’s best secret hidden until the penultimate track. I’m talkin’ about “Troubleshooter,” a mechanical hit’n’run riff that completely seduces you with it’s outrageous success. A track like this makes it easy to ignore the sugary swing of “April,” and the melodic slush of “Lonely Teardrops.”

Only one thing remains to be said. By a unanimous decision, this record is completely and utterly indispensable.”